Latina Author and Poet
It's been a year since the scourge of the pandemic spread throughout the country, ravaged a population that did not believe that that such a thing could happen here in the USA. But it did; and we reeled from the horrifying statistics. I am grateful to be safe, and grateful that my loved ones are safe as well, even if I could not hug them and kiss them or have our usual family gatherings. Autumn and the holiday season were especially difficult. Back in March 2020 I said, "Well, by summer time all should be okay." But it wasn't. As the holiday season approached, we yearned for the light at the end of what seemed to be an endless tunnel. 2020 was not a good year. Only good thing was that I had lots of time to concentrate on my writing. Soon I will be ready to release the manuscript of my novel to eyes other than my own. And in November I wrote a short story titled, "Waiting for the Light". After a very long year, the light is finally in sight. Let's not sabotage the progress the vaccines are affording us. We still need to be careful. Stay safe so we can have summertime 2021.
September 23, 2020
I want to thank all those who continue to support my journey as a writer. I am deeply gratified by the interest that my readers have demonstrated in my work. I hope to complete my next book, Irene's Girls, In the Light of Redemption, by the beginning of next year. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, I am proud to be able to make even the smallest contribution to LatinX world.
May 21, 2020
Nenadich Street, Poems and Passages, my second book, will be released sometime this month—my debut as a poet, and more! The inspiration for the poems evolved over a period of time, although I wrote some just last summer. It was my wish to create a life's narrative in a woman's poetic voice, reflecting strength as well as vulnerability. I envisioned Nenadich Street as a journey: a female navigating the corridors of life, full and sensual, sad and hopeful. The little chapters called Passages, continue to document the journey with candid social commentary and what I like to think is grittiness and wry humor.
April 14, 2020
This is the prototype for the cover of Nenadich Street, created by my very talented illustrator, Matt Flores. The image actually helped to further shape my vision for some of the work in Nenadich Street. Slowly, the persona of a strong yet vulnerable muse evolved to become the foundation for the poems and passages. She could be a superhero, a goddess, or someone lost, searching for a higher path.
February 1, 2020
Want to know who the "nena" in the photograph is? It's me! I was about six years old when I graduated from first grade in Puerto Rico. I completed home school kindergarten and first grade in public school before my family returned to Brooklyn, N.Y.,where I was born. I cherish this photograph because I am wearing lipstick and my mother's pearl earrings—and holding my very first diploma!
January 30, 2020
All authors are not poets, but I believe all poets are authors, authors of the heart. Last month I submitted Nenadich Street to my publisher. It debuts many of the poems I have written over the years. Why the title? There was an old street in my Mom's home town, named Nenadich. Nena means girl in Spanish, and is often used as a term of endearment. And lastly, my experiences growing up in an urban environment informed my choice of the word "Street." The process of writing poetry is very personal. Individual histories always emerge in one form of another. Girls have a lot to say.
December 25, 2019
As I sent out holiday greetings to friends and family, I again got to thinking about what Christmas means to me. For many first and second generation Americans, Christmas is no longer the celebration that their parents and grandparents embraced. As we become "homogenized", we may trade in their traditions for what TV commercials tell us Christmas should look like. I love my Christmas tree, Santa, and Christmas carols. But what about Three Kings Day, and "straw" in little boxes for the camels? Do we miss any of it? I do cherish some Christmas memories from my childhood. Read "Elisa" in Puerto Rican Love Stories for the warmth of family and a little joy.
December 19, 2019
What do you think of this title? I've been thinking a lot about the process that led me to choose it. I realize it might not be so popular; some people are turned off by things "Puerto Rican." Was I looking to make a point? Frankly, I did not know what else to call it. I thought really hard about it before I sent the manuscript to the copyright office. There are some publications out there with similar titles, and I did not want potential readers to feel limited by what they might perceive to be a repetitive theme. But it is what it is, and after all, themes of love are universal, which is what, hopefully, will resonate with my readers. Maybe the "Oligarch and The Poet" may have been a better choice; it is the title of the opening story.
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